Kia Motors America Shows Off Stylized Concept Vehicles During 2008 SEMA Show


Booth Packed with Activities for Aftermarket Enthusiasts

  • KMA debuts Borrego Limited concept based on recently
    debuted production SUV
  • Accessorized Soul Burner, Rio5 and KOUP concepts illustrate possibilities for enthusiasts
  • LAS VEGAS, Nev., November 4, 2008 Ready to rave at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Kia Motors America (KMA) goes extreme in Sin City with its in-booth activities and tricked-out concept vehicles for the 2008 SEMA Show. Appealing to aftermarket fanatics and concept car enthusiasts alike, KMA dials in the DJ-spun tunes for a sweet showing of the following concepts:

    • Soul Burner, designed with a hardcore attitude meant for those who live freely and enjoy life one of three Soul variation concepts debuted at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show
    • KOUP offers a look into Kia Motors evolving design direction with its slanting exterior shape and debuted at the 2008 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS)
    • Borrego Limited concept extends from the all-new 2009 Borrego midsize SUV, offering four-wheel drive and a sexy stance perfect for urban excursions
    • Rio5 designed specifically for SEMA is truly a tuners car with a KMA-genuine body kit, cat-back exhaust and side sills.

    On November 4, from 8:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. artist PNut will be on hand to custom-paint pairs of Vans shoes, while visitors seeking the ultimate experience also can adorn an airbrushed tattoo while listening to music spun by DJ Sparx. The DJ will be back for more on November 5 and 6 with the tattoo artist returning on November 6.

    “We always enjoy attending and displaying at the SEMA Show as it really lends us the creative and artistic license to push the envelope of our ‘Power to Surprise'” mantra, said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing, KMA. “The vehicles displayed this year represent not only possible directions for design evolution of the Kia brand, but also express the passion we pour into both our concept designs and production vehicles.”

    Borrego Limited SEMA Concept

    An extension of the all-new Borrego midsize SUV, the Borrego Limited SEMA concept offers a stealth-looking version of the midsize SUV with a monotone black exterior enhanced by limo-tint windows. Lowered for a sleeker profile and outfitted with flashy 22-inch Avarus Chrome Wheels and Spec-X 285/45R22 tires, this Borrego concept projects an assertive and sophisticated stance fit for a motorcade as much as cruising down the Vegas strip.

    Chrome side fender vents, side mirrors, door handles and a custom chrome mesh grille add flair to its already striking and commanding presence.

    The interior of the midsize SUV also has been revamped, with custom leather upholstery on all seats embossed in an alligator skin pattern. Completing the blinged-out experience will be a larger-than-life sound system backing up a TV and DVD player and a navigation system. Molded directly into the interior, all electronics create a modern and streamlined appeal, all color-keyed to match the exterior of the vehicle.

    SEMA Rio5 Concept

    Prepared by Mobis Parts Los Angeles (MPLA), the Rio5 concept vehicle based on the 2009 production model is a tuner’s dream. The Rio5, featuring Kia-genuine accessories currently available from dealers, also is intended to function as a test bed for potential accessories being considered for future Kia vehicles, including exciting audio and performance-related equipment. Evoking the true spirit of customization, the sporty hatchback is complete with a custom Kia-genuine body kit featuring: a revised front mesh grille; blackened headlamps; custom rims; revised strut brace and cold air intake system; a cat-back exhaust and stainless steel door sill plates. The lowered frame sits wrapped around larger wheels and tires by TSW and Goodyear.

    Also enhancing the sportiness of the SEMA Rio5, a black hood and side streaks add a nice contrast to the red body paint by House of Kolor. Inside more modification occurs with custom speakers and amps by Rockford/Fosgate for extreme listening enjoyment, as well as new radio and DVD equipment by Kenwood.

    Soul Burner Concept

    Soul Burner is designed for the aggressive-at-heart. Dubbed the bad boy of the three concept characters, including Soul Diva and Soul Searcher, the exterior of the Soul Burner offers a mean edge with sparse flashes of scarlet amidst the black-on-black paint job. The paintwork is a nearly matte satin finish while the wheels are matte black. The only other exterior color present is a bit of red around the lower front air intake, the wheel rims and door mirrors.

    Upon closer inspection, it becomes noticeable that darker black tattoo designs resemble dragons, a subtle yet aggressive figure. In an unusually asymmetric design, the largest dragon creeps up the left side of the Soul Burner and over the hood to “blow fire” down onto the front bumper. On the other side, a small dragon emerges from the sill panel and climbs over the “C” pillar. Throughout the car, a ‘dragon scales’ pattern is repeated, appearing on the front grille, seats and door trims.

    At the front, the bumper is equipped with L-shaped day-light LED driving lamps around the outer edges. The hood has an extra air outlet while at the rear, twin vertical exhaust pipes are placed at the extremes of the bumper and the tailgate features an asymmetrical license-plate and release handle.

    Unlike the other Soul concepts, Soul Burner has a roof panel with no roof rails. It rides on the widest, lowest profile tires of the trio 245/40R19 again with a concept-specific tread pattern comprised of dragon’s flames.

    Once inside, the four individual sports seats (complete with a dragon-scale motif), thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel and entire cabin trim are divided horizontally. Above the split, everything, including headliner, pillars and dashboard, is finished in a rich matte red, with a deep black finish below. In contrast, the center console, air vents, gearshift, and door handles are finished in a special black-chrome.

    KOUP Concept

    Curb appeal begins with the KOUP’s balanced proportions and fluid design. From the tab-shaped and purposeful upper grille to the high-tech and pragmatic headlamps, the front fascia’s form gives the vehicle a bold and aggressive stance. The KOUP features an uncomplicated yet dynamic wedge shape along its sides stemming from its glowing, carbon fiber and black chrome enhanced LED lamp lenses.

    While the KOUP’s overall form is simple and precise, it makes a design statement with positive tension created by a “swoosh” that swoops from the “C” pillar forward, down to the “A” pillar and flares all the way back around to the rear deck lid. A trailing horizontal lip along the deck lid tapers up toward the outer ends to meet up with the swoosh from the beltline. The rocker sill has a distinctive “check mark” shape and prominent wheel flares that give the KOUP a strong, lowered stance. The short overhangs and wide stance reflect its well-balanced and responsive character.

    No element of high-style design is missing in the KOUP concept as illustrated by its greenhouse-integrated, panoramic-view glass with two panels extending from the windshield through the roof to the backlight, appearing as two parallel pieces of glass similar to a fighter jet cockpit. Segregating the glass panels, an interior mood light runs the full length of the greenhouse. To further the performance-inspired appearance with sporty elegance, carbon fiber enhancements accent the KOUP’s chin spoiler, lamp lenses, cowl panel, side-view mirrors, rear bumper insert and rear diffuser, while flashy twin wheel spokes include carbon fiber inserts paired with an open design to show off the Brembo calipers and cross-drilled rotors.

    Conceived artfully and with graphic precision, the KOUP’s interior hones in on the desires of auto enthusiasts from the inward lean of the dashboard and Supervision instrument panel, enhancing the performance-inspired driving experience to the custom-designed, race-inspired steering wheel in front of a three-gauge instrument cluster. Carbon fiber accents on the shifter plate and seat tilt-adjust mechanism reinforce sporty performance.

    Audiophiles and car enthusiasts alike will take heed of eight speakers, including large rear deck speakers matched to a juke box audio system, further harmonizing the driving experience. A built-in Bluetooth-enabled navigation system with Map On Demand (MOD) is just the beginning of the telematics services.

    The KOUP features a realistic interior design that integrates high-style materials, including rich and supple seat fabrics accentuated with concrete- and black-color trims. As a true driver’s car, the front seats contrast the rear seats with opposing colors and patterning and horizontal, padded silicone bars occupy the seat backs for extra comfort. High-tech details are integrated into the interior, including convenient smart key with push button start, and a six-speed automatic transmission with steering column-mounted paddle shifters.

    Powered by a commanding 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged engine producing 290 horsepower paired with a GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) twin scroll turbocharger for greater power and efficiency, the KOUP delivers astonishing torque of 289 lb-ft at a low 2,000 rpm sustained to 4,000 rpm. By injecting fuel directly into the cylinder under high pressure using the Kia GDI system, the intake charge is cooled and combustion behavior is improved. Improved combustion assures excellent fuel economy and low emissions. Lower grille openings enable additional air intake for extra power.

    Built on a front-wheel-drive unibody frame, coil springs and stabilizer bars complement an independent front suspension featuring MacPherson struts and an independent dual link rear suspension to provide the optimal balance of ride comfort and engine responsiveness. An engine-speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system adds the finishing touch for precise handling. In keeping with the KOUP’s sporty essence, Continuous Damping Control (CDC) for quick movements and sharp turns paired with a sport-tuned, four-wheel independent suspension and strut tower bar offer a tighter grip for more spirited driving.

    About Kia Motors America

    Kia Motors America (KMA) is the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 640 dealers throughout the United States. For 2007, KMA recorded its 14th consecutive year of record U.S. sales. Kia Motors subscribes to a philosophy of building high value, high quality, safe and dynamic vehicles. Kia Motors prides itself on producing vehicles that are exciting and enabling and evoke the Kia tagline “The Power to Surprise.”

    Kia Motors America is the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.” Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site For media information, including photography, visit

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